I read a lot of home birth loss stories before I chose a home birth. Most of them were explained away by saying that the baby would have died if born in the hospital. Sometimes though, its obvious that the baby never would have died in the hospital.
The recent death caused by Christy Collins (a las vegas, nevada CPM) is a good example of this. Her patient was weeks past her due date and had ZERO amniotic fluid. Christy posted on facebook to get advice on how to deal with that, and other midwives said to wait it out or try worthless remedies like stevia. This was an entirely preventable tragedy and should have never happened. How does the natural child birth community react when this happens?
Most NCBers tried to say this was a bad midwife instead of proof that lay midwives are NOT adequately trained to care for pregnant women. People who said this ignored the crowd-sourcing portion of the tragedy, because industry leaders and other long-time midwives advised waiting despite the obvious danger.
Those who realized that the majority of other lay midwives said to wait decided to blame the mother instead. Here are some choice quotes:
“Did the mother thoroughly check out this midwife? The other midwifes on that facebook page? Obviously that midwife lacked experience and the ladies on the page giving terrible advice did as well. That absolutely does not speak for the majority of midwives who strive for complete care centered around mother and baby trying to obtain the best and healthiest birth possible
This would have never happened to me because I would have been pro active.”
another person said:
“IMO, once you become pregnant you owe it to yourself and your child to *educate* yourself. It doesn’t matter what type of birth you want to have, learn about *all* of them. Unplanned home births happen. Emergency C sections happen. You need to be *educated* so you don’t fall prey to shitty health care “professionals”.“
You get the sense they are trying to convince themselves more than anyone else. They are desperate to make up reasons that this could not have happened to them, but it could have. It could happen to anyone who uses a provider willing to do out of hospital births- specifically non-nurse midwives. They have nothing to lose if your baby dies, and they genuinely believe that there is not any elevated risk for out of hospital births.
Even if you manage to find the strength to fight a negligent midwife and tell everyone what happened after she causes your baby to die, she can just move and set up shop again. She can make up a story about what ‘really’ happened and other midwives can corroborate her story. None of these women on babycenter understand that this easily could have been them. It could have been me. I find myself being grateful every day that everyone was physically okay at the end of my horrible experience. I feel like I dodged a bullet, like I came out of a car accident without a scrape- in short, I feel that I was very lucky. It is baffling to me that these other women feel that they were somehow earned a safe birth for their baby.
Imagine having trusted your midwife and paid the price for it- you have to bury your child. Imagine having to see these comments about you. Strangers saying that you just must have been stupid or uneducated or not researched enough about that midwife. Why are these women focusing on the victim? What about the next woman who is duped by a dangerous midwife? Is it okay for that baby to die, as long as its not yours? Why should these women even have ACCESS to patients after demonstrating that they don’t know what the hell they are doing?
If moms are to blame for not doing enough research (although there might not be information available on the midwife), or for not being ‘educated’ enough, then why the hell do they hire a midwife in the first place? Natural Child Birth advocates change their tune completely when an event does not fit the ideology of the group. You get this kind of blame even if your child is okay, but you’ve decided a lot of the things you were told about birth by the NCB movement was rubbish. That’s certainly been my experience.
NCB is there for you as long as you agree with it all the time. If your baby dies and you don’t blame the midwife (even if she was clearly at fault), if you still want your next birth at home, then they will be there for you. If you lose your uterus to a VBAC rupture and do not blame the people who convinced you it was safe to VBAC at home, only THEN will NCB be there for you. They will only be there for you if you don’t try to hold anyone in the movement accountable for their words or actions.
If you believe in Natural Child Birth and you disagree with my view, please prove me wrong. Advocate for mandatory licensing and midwives who are Certified Nurse Midwives instead of lay midwives. I would be delighted to be wrong about my view of the movement.